Will we really get new parks and playgrounds
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - September 18, 2019 - 12:00am

I read in the news that Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has included his wife and the wives of the city councilors in the recently-convened Parks and Play-ground Commission (PPC) to help in the beautification of Cebu City. Well, it’s about time that we did that. The PPC will be headed by Engr. Editha Peros who is also the head of the Parks and Playground office.

Right now, Cebu City really doesn’t have much to show with regards parks and playgrounds, except for the Plaza Independencia or the Talamban Park operated by the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD). At this point, I would like to believe that PPC should first get a complete map of Cebu City and plan out where they can build new parks for Cebu City. But Mayor Labella pointed out that the wives of councilors will not receive any salaries for their effort to clean the image of Cebu City, which is laudable.

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As I have feared, the recent drone attacks on a huge oil facility of state-owned Aramco in Saudi Arabia will affect the Philippines oil supply “deeply,” as pointed out by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. While the Yemen-based rebels who have been fighting a Saudi-led coalition claimed responsibility for the drone assault last Saturday, however, the United States said there was no evidence to back up the claim, and instead accused Iran of an “unprecedented at-tack on the world’s energy supply.”

I have no doubt that the United States intelligence service know too well where those deadly drones came from what direction and Iran naturally is a ripe target, after all, it has helped the Houthi Rebels against Saudi Arabia. Of course Iran denied any responsibility on Sunday, but increased tensions in the region by pointing out US facilities were within range of Iranian missiles. Following the at-tack, Aramco reportedly said it may have to cut output by around 5.7 barrels per day, more than five percent of the world’s supply of crude oil. The attacks sent oil prices surging by as much as 20 percent last Monday, as half of Saudi Arabia’s oil output were wiped out.

In a serious talk with my friends, it is quite possible that the US Intelli-gence community had an idea that armed drones would be used to attack the Saudi oil facilities. But the US didn’t warn the Saudi’s simply because the US already stopped the proposed nuclear deal between the US and Iran which was done during the time of then Pres. Barrack Obama, which promises that Iran would become a nuclear member within ten years of that deal. Good thing that US Pres. Donald Trump blocked that deal.

But reading between the lines, this incident happens just two months be-fore the US elections and as you very well know, the Democrats hate Trump so much they even wanted him impeached even if they know that they don’t have the numbers to remove him from office. But such a unique international incident has Pres. Trump opening up its Strategic Oil Reserves in order to help stabilized world oil pump prices.

Meanwhile, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is also expected to slash rates anew as inflation decelerates further to a three-year low in August. These expectations, however, are anchored on the continued deceleration of food and transportation prices as well as lower global oil prices. So the next few weeks is crucial as to where this world is headed once more.

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Apparently, President Rodrigo Duterte's deadline for the surrender of the convicts that were prematurely freed nears. I understand that the number of freed convicts of heinous crimes that Justice Undersecretary Mark Perete has reported only reached 612 from the total number of 1,914 convicts held in prison for heinous crimes that were granted time allowances for good conduct last September 19. As the President said the freed Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs) should make themselves available for recomputation of their GCTA and for investigation for corruption, or else they would be treated as fugitives.

Meanwhile the Philippine National Police (PNP) tapped its Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to supervise the tracker teams in different police regional offices to locate the freed convicts. This means that talk about this issue would remain until the deadline is met and whether how many convicts remain unaccounted for, which is something I’m sure that our readers want to know.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

EDGARDO LABELLA
Philstar
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